Drive California’s Death Valley
A true desert of sometimes bare, sometimes colorful but always changeable dramatic landscape. Death Valley is a land of extremes, being the lowest point of North America as well as its hottest with temperatures regularly reaching 40°C. A drive through Death Valley is unquestionably an experience of a lifetime. Each mile that you cover differs from the previous one. And just as you thought there’s no escape from the intense heat, from time to time you’ll come across an amazing oasis hiding the little life there is here.
1.Discover the palette of Artists Drive in Death Valley
A narrow lane that winds for 13 miles through nooks and crannies of the most colourful canyon. Artist Drive is best done in the afternoon when the sun rays bring the rocky landscape to life through the earthy palette of colours.
Take it slowly and don’t forget to stop at Artist’s Palette view point. You’ll understand instantly the reasons for its name. All you need is a brush and a cup of water (hard to come by in these parts) to colour Death Valley beautiful.
While only few miles long, this drive tends to change its appearance with each turn you take. The landscape is surprisingly diverse here.
2.Stand at the lowest point of North America
Surrounded by a mountain range raising to 11,000 feet, Badwater sits 85 meters below the sea level making this stretching salt plain the lowest point in North America.
As well as hottest and driest. Once a sea bed, the floor of Death Valley is largely covered in glass-sharp fragile salt crystals. Walking across the plain (5 miles one way) should be planned for early morning as the heat-salt combination increases risk of severe dehydration.
3.Swim in natural desert springs
Though the driest point in the US, Death Valley hides a number of life-saving oasis, one of which is the stunning Ash Meadows.
Fed by natural springs forced from the depth of the Earth, Ash Meadows has become a rare refuge to a myriad of species that have adapted to the harness of Death Valley. Free to visit, the two highlights that endeared this wildlife spot to us were the board walk at the end of Point of Rocks Road and the mirror-like waters of Crystal Reservoir, where you can take a cooling dip.
This place is rarely visited, leaving you quite alone to ponder the board walk. Take the opportunity to naked-dip in Crystal Reservoir. Its banks tend to be very muddy but that didn’t stop us…